Most of the tourists can’t make it out of Taipei once they’re in Taiwan, some of them visit Sun Moon Lake and simply ignore Taichung. ME EITHER! I used to live in Taipei for 1 year back in 2013 and traveled to Taiwan one more time in 2017 but I didn’t even consider a city trip in Taichung. Only on my latest trip this year, I came across knowing more about this charming city and I wish I could stay there longer to see more cool things and places in town.
Not only Taipei has tasty street foods, in Taichung you sure get amazed by its cuisine too. The highlights of all bites were Kungfu noodles, giant ice cream, and pumpkin house and many more. Hmm, what else? You may think the rainforests only exist in tropical countries, but Taichung would welcome you to visit one in there since the city proudly owns one. Now let’s roll!!!
You have two options to get to the city. Slow train ticket costs 375NT$ (about US$12) with 2 hrs 15’ travel time while the high-speed train one costs you more but surely it’s much quicker. My recommendation is if you are not in hurry then let’s take the slower one, the sceneries along the way are spectacular, you would take a totally chill pill in the meantime.
A 2-day nonstop rain couldn’t stop me from exploring Taichung. With an umbrella, a cap, flipflops, and of course my camera, I hit the road in a gloomy mood but came back with a pleasant face after getting many joyful experiences. Continue reading my post if you want to know what to do and eat around Taichung on a shitty weather day!
A sneak peek before following my trip: The buses in Taichung is F-R-E-E up to 10km, yet you still have to check in and out with an Easy card. Eventually, I didn’t pay anything for the public transport in Taichung. Awesome!
Hang out in an underground artsy town at Caowu Square
Caowu Square is part of Calligraphy Greenway which is a lung of the city with many artworks, museums, green squares, cafes, restaurants and delightful shops. From the online reviews, I knew that a lot of fun activities and events would often happen in this area. But there was no one at the square on a rainy day, and I’d ended up visiting a lovely town below ground.
This place has a tourist information center, a huge shop selling art stuff that you would love, some cozy cafes, and locally unique restaurants.
Turned out by escaping from the rain I found out this place where products made by the artists from Taichung are respected by love.
To get more information about the places to visit in Taichung, I asked people in the visitor center there but unfortunately, they couldn’t speak English. Immediately they called a girl who worked in the next door shop to come and help. The Taiwanese were so kind and local people there have never let me down.
The girl was so enthusiastic to tell me the story about her shop and the underground town. Also, she suggested a few worth visiting spots in the city and strongly recommended me to eat Kungfu noodles in a nearby famous restaurant. Had a great experience and meet nice people here! That was quite enough to boost my mood up:).
- Address: No. 534, Yingcai Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Entrance fee: Free
- Open hours: Mon-Fri: 12:00 – 21:00 / Sat-Sun: 11:00 – 22:00
Eat Kungfu noodles at Chun Shui Tang
Chun Shui Tang is a famous restaurant in Taiwan besides Din Tai Fung. This restaurant is really close to Caowu Square ( 2-minute walk). It was nearly lunch time so I just took a few steps from the first stop to here to eat.
Though Chun Shui Tang is pretty renowned for its bubble milk tea and they claimed to invent Taiwanese milk tea, I didn’t impress with the drinks that much. Instead, the Kungfu noodles were really tasty.
There are many dishes on the menu with the names that would make you curious. I wonder why didn’t I try the noodles with XO sauce:v.
- Address: No.17, Lane 155, Gongyi Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Price: 80 – 220 NT$ (about US$2-7)
- Open hours: daily 8:30am – 10:30pm
Enjoy life in an ice cream heaven – I’m Talato
“Life is an ice cream, enjoy it before it melts.” – This has been my favorite quote recently! 🙂
Honestly, I didn’t eat the ice cream in this gelato shop because I was so full after I’d have a big meal at Chun Shui Tang. But I still recommend this place as it looks so cool with the cuteness overload decorations. Well, I’m not exaggerating! Dear Instagrammers, you can google “I’m Talato” and see the images. I’m sure right away you’ll have a brilliant idea how to take a photo that worths a thousand likes.
- Address: No. 451, Yingcai Rd, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Price: 80 – 250 NT$ (about US$2-8)
- Open hours: daily 11:30am – 7:30pm
Get lost in a tropical rainforest – Taichung Botanical Garden
A green space in the middle of the city, this place is worthwhile to visit with a ticket of 20NT$ (about 65 cents in US$). I would say that it’s artifact tropical rainforest which gives you a real feeling of a jungle like Amazon.
Beautiful and inexpensive!
- Address: No. 1, Guanqian Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Price: 20 NT$ (about 65 cent USD)
- Open hours: 9am – 5pm (Monday closed)
Have dinner in the prettiest restaurant in Taichung – Pumpkin House
This pumpkin-ish restaurant was found when I was searching for the way in Taichung on Google map. The name Lulu’s kitchen & Pumpkin House immediately caught my attention on the phone screen and after checking the photos, I had no doubt that I wanted to have dinner there.
You might guess that this restaurant would be expensive. But it wasn’t expensive at all! The foods were really delicious and the prices were completely acceptable.
If you are an on-budget traveler in Taiwan, then this eating-photogenic spot would be ideally your choice.
Read my full post about this restaurant here: The prettiest restaurant in Taichung
- Address: 225, ZhongXing St, West Dist, Taichung, Taiwan
- Price: 360 – 420 NT$ for a 4-course combo (about US$ 12 -14)
- Open hours: 11 am-3:30 pm (last order 2:30 pm), 5-10:30 pm (last order 9:10 pm)
- Additional info: English menu available, credit cards accepted, 10% service charge
Visit an astonishing building – Miyahara
Miyahara is a special old building which was built during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. It was partly destroyed by the earthquake and nowadays people renovated it to sell pineapple tarts, Taiwanese tea, cheesecakes, chocolates, and ice cream. This place is quite touristic but it’s worth visiting.
I’ve been in this store 2 times (the first time I was on a study trip with my Chinese class back in 2014). This time I came back here and I still admired the astonishing architecture of Miyahara which combined old and new. Also, the famous ice cream store next to this building was also excellent :P!
- Address: No. 20, Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Entrance fee: Free
- Open hours: daily 10am – 10pm
Explore Fengjia night market
Fengjia night market is probably the biggest, most popular market in Taichung. Like the other night markets in Taiwan, you can find all kinds of speciality foods and drinks here. I noticed that the foods in this market are quite different from the ones in Taipei. Although this is an interesting and fun place to spend your time in Taichung, I didn’t really enjoy it there. Perhaps I was already exhausted after a long day walking in the rain.
- Address: Wenhua Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Open hours: 2pm – 12am
Admire the most colorful destination in the world – Rainbow Village
Rainbow Village is a bit far from Taichung center. From Taichung train station, I took a train to another station called Xinwuri (15 minutes, 30NT$, about US$1). After that, I got onto the bus 617 (20 minutes, 20NT$) to go to this wonderful village.
- Address: No. 56, Chun’an Road, Nantun District, Taichung 408, Taiwan
- Entrance fee: Free
- Open hours: daily from 9am – 6pm
Taste a Taiwanese traditional dish – Braised pork with rice
I love eating in the real local restaurants while traveling and after carefully searching, I found this place in Taichung. This restaurant has no English name nor English menu, but luckily I managed to order the foods by pointing on the photos haha.
The braised pork rice dish was superb!!! Just the thought of having a delicious meal with this kind of food make my mouth water. Oh my god the soft braised belly pork tastes and smells so good together with white rice and vegetables. I’ll definitely cook this food for dinner tonight.
Actually, the braised pork with rice is a popular dish in many Asian countries and I like to experience different versions of this food every time I have a chance to eat it in a new place. It’s like trying French fries in different Western countries, not to figure out the best one but to realize the unique thing of each one.
- Address: No. 586, Shizheng Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan
- Price: (as I remember) 70 NT$/dish (about US$2)
- Open hours: daily from 11am – 11:30pm
Use my map if you would like to check out these places in Taichung!
2 days in Taichung was not enough to see the whole city but overall I had a great time there to collect many memorable experiences there. I believe that there are still many interesting spots in Taichung that I didn’t have enough time to explore, for example, the Museum of Fine Arts, Audit Village, Book Store Forbeginners, CMP Block Museum of Arts, Ninja Factory, Totoro Bus Stop, etc. So I still have more than one reason to go back to this attractive city :).